You may not recognize Kevin Sheridan by name but you’ve more than likely seen him in an episode of one or more of your favorite shows. He’s guest starred on Judging Amy, Boston Public, Veronica Mars, Without A Trace, Criminal Minds, Castle, and more. He also played Rocket Truitt on CW’s Hart of Dixie and can currently be seen in the independent feature film, Circle.
Recently, he took some time to talk to us about Circle and what he has coming up next.
When and how did you decide you wanted to be an actor?
“I started young. Thirteen. I always loved stories and acting was one way to be apart of the process. It kinda just happened. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up in LA. (Laughs). Believe it or not my favorite movie as a kid was My Left Foot.”
My Left Foot was directed by and partially written by Jim Sheridan. Any relation?
“No. But I secretly wish there was.”
How did you get involved in Circle? Was it a regular audition or is there some story behind it?
“I originally auditioned for the part of the atheist, but was offered another role instead. Then things got more complicated and I had to take a smaller role because it conflicted with a job I booked. I felt terrible about it but everyone was really understanding and cool about it. Coincidentally, Michael Nardelli and I went to college together. Very nice and talented dude.”
Which role were you offered? And can you tell us what job it conflicted with?
“I was supposed to play the bearded man but I’m glad I didn’t cause Kai did such a great job with it. He was really fantastic. It was an episode of Perception that Eric Mcormack directed.”
Where did the idea for Circle come from? Do you know?
“I think the concept was originally inspired from 12 Angry Men. Don’t quote me on that! (Laughs).”
The premise for the movie is really interesting. A group of 50 people who are more or less left to decide who among them is going to live and who is going to die. What would you do if you were put in that situation in real life?
“I’d sacrifice my own life and I’d do it pretty quickly. I couldn’t live with that level of guilt. Maybe it’s the Catholic upbringing in me. Ha.”
In a lot of ways, the movie reflects real life. How people respond to crisis, whether they stay calm, take charge, or panic. Your character was the only one to stay calm initially, trying to help, trying to keep chaos from breaking out. How do you think you’d respond to a situation like that in real life?
“I’d like to think I would stay calm but the interesting thing about those situations is you never really know how you’ll react until the actual event happens. So much plays into it. The few hairy situations I’ve been in I’ve kept it together… but then again I’ve lost it over small inconsequential things. You just don’t know.”
In the movie, a person’s motivations made no difference in their outcome. Do you think real life is like that?
“Good question. I’d like to think that people with altruistic motivations succeed… but life isn’t always so storybook. This question is a can of worms! I think a person’s motivations make a difference in the journey they take and how they take it. The outcome, which we tend to all focus on, who won and who lost, is not important.”
If, like in the movie, making “right” choices or trying to be “moral” or follow some “code of ethics” isn’t going to change or even impact what will ultimately happen to a person, what motivation is there to look out for others or consider the community as a whole when making decisions?
“Well, this is a movie. And these are the questions Mario and Aaron are trying to raise. My personal take — One of the biggest gifts that we as humans have is empathy. The ability to feel and empathize with other people. Which leads to taking care of others, helping others. You could get all existential with it. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. WHAT’S THE POINT OF ANYTHING? But the truth is in helping someone a bond, however small, is made. And well, it makes me feel good instead of feeling bad. And in this life I rather lift someone up then put them down. Feel good instead of feeling bad.”
What do you think the end of the movie is supposed to mean? How do you think the survivor is going to feel? What do you think the lesson we’re supposed to learn from the movie is?
“I viewed it as a cautionary tale myself. What could be if we let the worst of who we are, and those dark aspects are in us all, comes out. What will the world become? For the survivor, Mike’s Character, I thought he could care less. He’s alive. That role never came off to me as someone who would feel remorse.”
I know you’re going to be in an episode of Grimm this season. Do you know when that will air? What else do you have in the works?
“I think it’s going to air Nov 20. One of the nicest sets I’ve ever worked on. David Giuntoli is a class act. I just put together a mini series we are shopping around. Light some candles for me.”
Circle can now be seen on Netflix worldwide.